Sunday, November 03, 2013

Ten things that digital said it would change and b*******ks all it has

Here's ten things digital could have changed, but hasn't. From this mornings Digital hasn't cut it

1. We're still interested in those self-interested subjects e.g. fame, celeb, meism. If anything digital expands conditions for all of us to be self-centred.

2. We've hardly invented a different journalism, and if we have its popularity is along the lines of Hogwarts and big foots. Sighted once in a while,  mythical ever so often, and trammelled where there are green shoots into oblivion.

3. Digital: the have and nots of traditionalism have become the haves and have-nots of the new system.

4. The view of the world is hegemonically based around a corpus of digital opinion. Attend two or more digital conferences and see the same people talking about their same thing. Thank Goodness Kenya's tech society is punching about its weight.

David Dunkley Gyimah reflecting on the digital gravy train
5.  When was the last time you went to a tech meeting and the diversity of people e.g Women and people of colour blew you away?  Nah ! Thought so. I was at one two weeks ago. No comment!
Africa digital, India digital... the revolution is still shaping.

6. Digital has become so corrosive as to discombobulate cultures. We all seek solace in a hashtag culture that erodes rather than strengthens. Somehow too, digital has become a Western come-to-product.  If you've nothing to say, even though you might have bombs raining down on you, shut up, as we listen to an ageing Joe 90 parachuted in and out of the news zone to give us a peak.

7. Have we become less experimental now? Was 2000-2005 the last of the chaotic experiments, with big ambitions to change the world. Because now everything looks so well defined as to embolden complacency and erectile dysfunction set in because, guess what. There's no rush anymore, and yes you get this thing digital.  Example, I was a juror for one of the UK's top media awards. A newcomer to the field won the prize for innovation. They went back to their offices and relaunched their show, er, to look like every other media. Missing the point completely, why they were chosen.

8. Most of the conferences and water holes of the digital spark of the 2000-2005 have folded. Others have been taken over by the multi-companies, who dictate the agenda. Yes I read Clue Train  Manifesto when it first came out too.

9. Digital makes us less empathetic. You notice this in tertiary education. The availability of everything renders little emotional premium attached to the pursuit of that something. It's almost as if there's been a technological revolution, but not a social - digital one. Listen to the lyrics of Thabo and the Real Deal

Politicians are too concerned with winners, when they should be referees...
They'e got the crew in the pocket that's the news that we're watching so religiously         So when we lose, which we do they can tranquilise us effectively.

10. Explore what you can do for others, not what you can do for yourself. Otherwise proclaim yourself an absolutist. Alas, there's no problem in doing so, but stop calling yourself digital social networker. P.S BTW this summation is all relative to who you are and your cultural standing. So yes you could vehemently disagree.

David Dunkley Gyimah is a senior lecturer, completing his PhD in an area of digital. More on him here.